Fears bid for 44 homes would harm Gloucestershire village

Plans to build 44 homes in rural Gloucestershire look likely to be rejected next week. Seven Capital Plc wants permission to develop more than six acres of land off Church Road in Longhope.

Their scheme is due to be considered by Forest of Dean District Council’s development management committee on June 11. However, officers have recommended refusing planning permission after raising several concerns over the scheme.

The proposal seeks outline permission for the development which would include access onto the site. Matters such as appearance, landscaping, layout and scale would be reserved for future consideration.

READ MORE: Battle for 'UK's biggest man cave' has cost £78k so far while council keeps schtum over demolition price as 'bulldozers move in'

MORE NEWS: Green light for 250 homes near Cheltenham Sainsbury's amid access concerns

Road access would be via a new priority junction from Church Road which would lead to a main spine road within the site. And the proposal includes a 40 per cent affordable housing contribution, with a tenure split of 70 per cent affordable housing for social/affordable rent, 25 per cent first homes and 5 per cent shared ownership.

Some 37 villagers have objected to the proposals along with Longhope Parish Council who say the scheme is contrary to planning policies, lies outside the settlement boundary and there is a lack of facilities in the village. District officers have raised nine different reasons why the proposals should be rejected.

These include concerns the new estate constitutes unsustainable development in the open countryside, its scale and the topography of the site would erode the open rural character of the area and it would harm the setting a the grade II listed Dam Barn Cottage and Cruck House.

There are concerns the new estate constitutes unsustainable development in the open countryside, its scale and the topography of the site would erode the open rural character of the area
There are concerns the new housing estate constitutes unsustainable development in the open countryside, its scale and the topography of the site would erode the open rural character of the area -Credit:FoDDC/Seven Capital

They also say it would cause considerable harm to the character and appearance of the conservation area and the application fails to demonstrate that the site could be developed without causing an unacceptable impact upon the residential amenity of existing and future residents due to overlooking.

The developers say the site is well positioned close to Mitcheldean and Cinderford with Gloucester 11 miles to the east. They say the site itself does not comprise any statutory landscape or historic constraints and has recently been subject to the council's strategic housing and economic land availability assessment and was found to be developable and suitable for inclusion.

The proposals will deliver a policy-compliant 40 per cent affordable housing provision, they said. And the development has been informed by the landscape assessment, and seeks to set the development back along Church Road, retain the existing hedgerow boundaries, maintain the open pastoral aspect of open space, respecting the line of development to the north and south of the site and to increase planting.

The proposal includes a 40 per cent affordable housing contribution/
The proposal includes a 40 per cent affordable housing contribution/ -Credit:FoDDC/Seven Capital

The site would provide a mixture of public, private, and semi-public landscape spaces with pedestrian infrastructure. And the council can only demonstrate 3.75-years supply of housing, they also said.